(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois reported 7,800 more people filed for initial unemployment claims last week than the week before, continuing week-after-week of increases for the Land of Lincoln. The U.S. Department of Labor reported 54,800 new filers in Illinois last week. The week before there were 46,900 new filers. The state’s unemployment system has been plagued with debt, backlogged callbacks and fraud.



(Undated-jm) -- Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend and we will regain that hour of sleep we lost back in March. Daylight saving time ends Sunday at 2 a.m. this means you'll need to turn your clocks back by one hour. It’s also a good time to change the batteries in your smoke alarm.



(Springfield-jm) -- Beginning Sunday, the extension on license plate stickers ends. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White sent out that reminder. The extension was implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home order. But license plate stickers can be renewed online at CyberDriveIllinois.com. The extension for driver’s licenses and ID cards remains until February 1, 2021.



(Springfield-jm) -- As new cases hit another daily high, state officials and doctors are stressing the seriousness of the current COVID-19 problem in Illinois. The number of new cases in Illinois has grown by 151 percent since October 1st, and hospitalizations have increased 73 percent. University of Chicago Medicine Infectious Disease Specialist Dr Emily Landon says the trends are especially concerning as winter approaches and the air becomes drier...




University of Chicago Medicine Infectious Disease Specialist Dr Emily Landon. The latest daily tally is more than 63 hundred cases, a new record. But testing is also up with over 83 thousand specimens run in the past 24 hours. Locally, McLean County reported 19 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total cases to 4,270 and deaths to 37. Champaign County reported 75 new cases bringing their total to 6,251. Ford County reported no new cases however they did report one additional death bringing their total to 15.  Livingston County reported 27 new cases and one additional death bringing their total cases to 756 and deaths to 11. Kankakee County reported 151 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 3,646 and deaths to 77. Vermilion County reported 33 new cases bringing their total to 1,617. Iroquois County reported 16 new cases bringing their total to 585.



(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton heard results from their recent audit. Mayor Bill Ingold shares the results of that audit…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.



(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been charged with having a loaded gun. 19 year old Tre White was arrested after police stopped an SUV for a traffic violation. While the officers were talking to the driver, White slid into the driver seat and attempted to leave. Officers got White out of the vehicle and found a loaded gun in his waistband, an ounce of cannabis and a bag containing a white powder. White was charged with armed violence. If convicted he faces 15 to 30 years in prison.



(Urbana-jm) -- The Champaign County Republican Central Committee has filed a lawsuit against Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons. The suit alleges Ammons of breaking election code and calls for poll watchers to come for the general election. Ammons responded by saying Republicans are attempting to suppress voters and implementing tactics from Donald Trump’s playbook.



(Champaign-cf)-- Champaign County voters will see a few additional pieces on the ballot in this year's general election. There will be a referendum on this year's ballot to increase the levy for the Champaign County Forest Preserve. The estimated cost is $5.33 per $100,000 of assessed value. The maintenance cost on all of the preserves in Champaign County is roughly three point seven million per year. Champaign County Forest Preserve President Andrew Kerins details where a majority of the levy will go if the referendum passes… 



Champaign County Forest Preserve President Andrew Kerins. 



(Loda-jm) -- The village of Loda could award a bid for the construction of a new water tower next month. Bids are due on November 10th and the village board could award the contract at their meeting November 11th.



(Washington-jm) -- China's pork purchases continue strong. Gary Crawford reports…



The Rantoul Recreation Department along with the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Drive Thru Trick or Treating at the Rantoul Recreation Building from 6 to 8 pm tonight.


The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County will hold a special food distribution on Saturday from 9 to 10:30 am.


Paxton IGA will be hosting a cookout benefiting the Gilman Garage Community Center on Saturday from 10-2.


Saturday is Halloween and here is some trick or treat hours for towns around the area...Paxton 5-8, Gilman 5-7, Buckley 4-6 at Buckley Lake, Rantoul 5-8, Loda 5-8, Hoopeston 5:30-7, Cissna Park 4-7 and Onarga 5-7. St. Joseph 6-8, Mahomet 6-8, Piper City 4-7, Gibson City 5-8, Melvin 5-7, Roberts 5-7, Elliott 5-8 and Thawville 3-6.



(Springfield-jm) -- A spokesperson for the Illinois National Guard declined to speculate on what role it would play in post-election security, but if the Guard does play a role, it would be “in support of and subordinate to civilian law enforcement.” Lt. Col Brad Leighton said earlier this year the guard helped protect infrastructure, guide traffic and acted as extra eyes and ears for local law enforcement, but he said it’s important to note the guard does not arrest people or investigate crimes.



(Springfield-jm) -- More than $90 million in emergency relief funding will be given to communities and small businesses across Illinois. Over 1,200 small businesses will receive more than $46 million of the funding while 163 local governments will get more than $48 million. The money through the historic Business Interruption Grants program will be given to regions that are currently under resurgence mitigations.



(Springfield-jm) -- Of the state’s 1.9 million public school students, the Illinois State Board of Education reported the vast majority, or nearly 1.2 million, are remote only. Around 600,000 are in a blended model. Fewer than 200,000 have in-person learning. Fully remote learning is primarily in urban and suburban areas of Cook County and the Metro East St. Louis area.




(Champaign-jm) -- If you’re looking for something to do with the kids, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce may have something for you. The chamber is putting on a scarecrow contest. Participating businesses pay $75 for a scarecrow scavenger hunt. Marketing Director Lindsay Quick says they have maps available for your adventure…



Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Lindsay Quick.



(Champaign-jm) -- CU at Home has announced details for their One Winter Night event. The event shines light on homelessness. It will take place on February 5th from 6pm to 6 am.



(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police in Ashkum will be conducting Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement Patrols this weekend. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…




(Watseka-jm) -- The Iroquois County Public Health Department is warning of the dangers of lead poisoning during Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. The week raises awareness of the dangers associated with lead exposure and poisoning. Lead can be found inside and outside of homes. According to the CDC, 500,000 children ages 1-5 have blood lead levels greater than or equal to the blood reference level. Lead Poisoning Prevention Week runs through Saturday.



(Washington-jm) -- Soaring pork exports are helping keep U.S. producers in business. Gary Crawford has the details…



Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will host a drive thru pork burger lunch on Saturday from 11 to 1.


A drive thru trick or treat will take place on Saturday from 2-4 pm at the Champaign County Fairgrounds in Urbana.


Buckley will host a trunk or treat on Saturday from 4 to 6 pm at Buckley Lake.


Sheldon will host a Trunk or Treat on Saturday from 4-6 pm at the Sheldon Administrative Center.


Saturday is Halloween and here is some trick or treat hours for towns around the area...St. Joseph 6-8, Mahomet 6-8, Piper City 4-7, Gibson City 5-8, Melvin 5-7, Roberts 5-7, Elliott 5-8 and Thawville 3-6.

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